Homily for Friday, October 10, 2014

illus-411If Jesus had been from Tennessee, when He had driven out a demon and someone exclaimed “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons,” Our Lord would have responded with a look of mixed pity and genuine concern and said, “Bless your heart.” It’s a handy phrase that expresses a number of sentiments that would oftentimes be downright impolite to say outright. For example, it’s a nice way to let someone know you think he is an ignoramus without being obligated to take him a casserole the next day. Southern social customs can be very complex, and many of them involve casseroles.

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand,” Our Lord asks the crowd who seek to test Him. We would be wise to wish the kingdom of Satan was divided but we would be wiser still to pray for unity in the Christian world. If a house divided against itself cannot stand, one must surely wonder how Christendom can stand, as others who call themselves Christian rebel against the Church that Christ founded.

Certainly, we know that the Catholic Church stands because the Holy Spirit will not let it fall. Nevertheless, there is much that you and I can do. We can and we should pray for unity, but that is not enough. We must also live our lives as authentic witnesses to the Catholic Tradition and to the Gospel Imperative.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters, Our Lord teaches. We should daily pray for the grace to live lives that will be with Our Lord and advance the Kingdom of God in the world around us, for if we are not with Him, we are against Him. And that is no good place to be.

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